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Relationship Problems

The Perfect Imperfection of Our Relationships

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When is it time to part ways?

Philip and Karen Smith / Getting Images

In the course of my practice, I've increasingly been met by people with relationship problems -- spouses, lovers, parents, children, even the living and the departed -- people whose lives are disrupted by various issues regarding the ones they love, have loved or regarding the search for love.

Some, maybe most, of this increasing disturbance in relationships can be attributed to Earth Changes -- the changes of energies associated with astrological and solar upheaval impelling Earth's citizens toward Ascension. But Earth Changes, Ascension, Zero Point, End of Times, etc., energies only accelerate our spiritual paths, they don't make the lessons we are meant to -- or chose to -- confront in the Earth school. Consciously taking the road to Ascension makes our path quicker but the lessons are the same.

Relationship Dramas

Some call these upheavals control dramas. In this view, when spouses fight, couples break up, individuals rage or withdraw, the events are seen as methods for one person to gain control over another or steal energy or control in a relationship. This viewpoint has merit and can be a component. But, in my mind, these relationship scenarios might more accurately be called lack of control dramas. I prefer to call them personal dramas or simply dramas.

A control drama or personal drama, at heart, is a device of the personality (or ego) to make the individual do what he or she should be doing anyway. It simply puts the issue squarely at center in a relationship where it cannot be avoided.

It's very wasteful energetically; but sometimes what we want is not what we truly need. Nor are we always strong or brave enough to confront our individual truths. Then, the drama takes over. If we were perfect masters of our relationships, we would confront personal issues without so much drama; it has to do with spiritual discipline; but drama will do the trick.

For example, if two people are too clingy, losing selfhood in a relationship, there may be fights, resentment, etc. It's basically a lack of balance in the relationship; each must balance nurturing of self with giving of self to the other.

What each person believes he or she requires in a relationship may vary and long-term imbalances can occur; or they can be short-term imbalances. All seek balance in our relationships and are happy when we find it (although one's balance may not be the balance another seeks).

Finding Balance

If mastery of balance is not attained in one relationship, the lesson will recur in the next and the next until it is learned. But each relationship is an opportunity for self-discovery with the reward of mutual growth -- even miracles. We must find the balance of wholeness, in ourselves, with others. It is a riddle: We each seek wholeness in our relationships, yet we cannot have a positive and fulfilling relationship until we are each whole. There can be no getting without giving; we cannot give what we do not have. Wholeness finds wholeness and completion. There can be no all yin and all yang; each must be complete unto itself to find balance, wholeness and completion.

Yet, we are imperfect beings. If we were perfect, we would need no one. We would be complete unto ourselves. But we live in polarity, light and dark, up and down, male and female. The Creator knows perfection, where there is no polarity, but we do not. We can strive for it, make progress toward it, but attaining perfection is not the normal lot of the inhabitants of the Earth school. We would not be here unless we had lessons to learn. And we must share with others to learn the lessons.

How do we solve this riddle? True love is giving, not limiting. It is encouraging freedom and individuality while sharing, giving those differences to the relationship to create a greater, mutual wholeness.

The riddle again: You cannot hold love in your heart without releasing it -- to return enriched, greater than it was before.

That is the risk of love, the challenge, the test, the fear maker. Yet releasing must be done to build love, to make it grow.

Parting Ways

As painful as it may be to lose love, to end a relationship, the real pain is in holding on to a relationship too closely so it cannot grow. Both people in the relationship are harmed, both are shortchanged, for the strength and power of love is its ability to grow, to be unbounded, a wellspring never ceasing. It is, once again, balance.

A lot of what is written about love and relationships -- reflected in movies, TV, novels, popular songs -- does not describe love but dependency or, as the psychologists call it, codependency. You cannot live without someone, as the songs suggest? If that's true, you cannot live. Neither can you love. Sustaining love is self-sustaining, like life itself.

The caged bird cannot fly. But love always comes home to roost, if its home is in the heart and not the mind. I would recommend anyone interested in relationships to read "Walking Between the Worlds: The Science of Compassion" by Gregg Braden (Radio Bookstore Press; Bellevue, Wash.; 1997).

I believe what he says is true about the Essence Mirrors, that our relationships are mirrors of ourselves. Our most intimate relationships reflect the most intimate areas of growth that we need. The areas that keep returning are ones that will keep returning until we get them right.

I have found this to be true. But, remember, also, relationships change just as we do. Our outer world reflects our inner world and our most intimate partners, when their lessons are similar to our own, will change according to the changes we make, if they are willing to be partners in the personal, individual, inner work of their growth, as well.

Next: How Long Do Relationships Last?

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